Commission welcomes agreement on the Connecting Europe Facility to fund greener, more sustainable transport and energy networks, and digitalisation

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) proposal, worth €33.7 billion, as part of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027.

The Connecting Europe Facility programme supports investment in Europe's transport, energy and digital infrastructure networks. It will support the twin green and digital transition, by contributing to the ambitious targets for the European Green Deal and the Digital Decade.

It will support the goals of the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy laying the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system. It will also prioritise environmentally friendly modes such as rail and the development of charging points for vehicles using alternative fuels.

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Innovation will be Central to the diversification of Azerbaijan's economy, according to a study UNECE

In recent years, Azerbaijan has taken a number of important steps towards the development of innovations.

A national innovation strategy is being developed, and State bodies responsible for innovation policy, such as the Innovation Agency, are being created. Azerbaijan has made progress in the development of digital state platforms.

In addition, there is an active implementation of PPP projects aimed at infrastructure development. The extension of government guarantees for innovative startups. Digitalization is a priority for the country, including initiatives to improve e-government, access to and use of data, as well as getting business services from the government (G2B).

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Infra Challenge 2021 invites participants from all over the world to present their solutions in the field of sustainable infrastructure development

InfraChallenge 2021-the global innovation competition has already started. The application deadline is March 12, 2021 at 11.59 pm ET. 

Infra Challenge is looking for practical and scalable technology ideas to develop a sustainable infrastructure. Sustainable infrastructure is essential for people's quality of life and has a significant impact on achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

This year's InfraChallenge is part of the infrastructure agenda of Italy's G20 presidency for 2021. The annual InfraChallenge, organized by the Global Infrastructure Hub (Github) and supported by the Italian G20 Presidency, is open to all industries around the world.

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UNECE’s e-Basel standard set to support sound international movement of hazardous and plastic waste

The generation of hazardous waste increased from an estimated 259 metric tonnes in 2007 to 394 metric tonnes in 2015; the most significant increases were from lower middle-income and higher middle-income countries and despite policy efforts, waste continues to increase in both absolute and per capita levels in most economies in the UNECE region.
Scientists have predicted a 100 percent increase in plastic debris by 2030; this increase is likely to worsen due to the consumption of single-use plastic during the COVID-19 pandemic.In today’s globalized world, the international movement and trade of waste can unlock gains in efficiency and scale, which can also contribute to the circular economy.On 20 January 2021, the Basel Convention Secretariat convened a workshop on electronic approaches to the notification and movement documents, with participation by experts from Parties and observers from all world regions.​Developments and activities on e-Basel are bound to become even more prominent with the entry into force of the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments on 1st January 2021, obliging member States to accelerate efforts to ensure plastic wastes are traded only with countries with facilities for their environmentally sound management.

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Dutch District Heating Gets Green Acceleration

Hvc Groep, a sustainable energy and waste company in the Netherlands, has signed a 15-year € 50 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank. The EIB is financed through the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) Investment Plan for Europe. HVC will use this loan to implement its investment projects from 2020 to 2024. The projects include the expansion of existing district heating networks in Alkmaar and Dordrecht, as well as investments in geothermal sources for heating greenhouses in the Westland region.


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Portugal: EIB and BPI provide EDP Renováveis with €112 million to construct and operate two wind farms with a total capacity of 125 MW

The wind farms are located in the districts of Coimbra and Guarda, in the west and north of the country. 560 jobs expected to be created during the implementation phase. The EIB financing is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). With the support of the EIB, EDPR will design, construct and operate two medium-scale wind farms: Tocha II, with a capacity of 33 MW, and Sincelo, with a capacity of 92 MW. Once operational, the two wind farms will contribute to Portugal meeting its Energy and Climate Plan targets, which foresee 47% of renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2030, as well as the European Commission's binding target of having at least 32% of final energy consumption coming from renewable sources by 2030.


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A new PPP project in agriculture and bio-economy started in Portugal

The Agrolux project aims to introduce several high-tech food production facilities in urban centers and promote social integration of more vulnerable groups. The project is at the stage of structuring.


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G20 Leaders’ Summit affirms role of infrastructure investment in recovery and future ESG outcomes

The summit approved an updated action plan and a second report reflecting progress in implementing the G20 agenda and priorities for the Saudi presidency. Importantly, the leaders' declaration also reaffirms the role of infrastructure investment in economic recovery. The work of the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub) under the G20 Action Plan has shown that investment in infrastructure is an important element in driving economic recovery. Infrastructure development has a positive short-term impact on labor productivity and employment, and creates conditions for long-term economic growth.

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